Holding SLOW LIGHTNING in my palms…

Holding SLOW LIGHTNING in my palms…

I longed to order it before I took to the sky, hopscotching the clouds back to Georgia from California. Fate didn’t cooperate, even though I wanted Corral’s autograph, in spite of my recent decision not to stock personal bookshelves, as I’m a Kindle girl now. Yet undefeated, I remained easy, remembering that I’m also a working Goddess with the power to summon the slim, black volume, with slithering, coiled lighting adorning its cover, to me.

Yale Series of Younger Poets's SLOW LIGHTNING Eduardo C. Corral
Yale Series of Younger Poets’s SLOW LIGHTNING
Eduardo C. Corral

If I ever came upon such a scaly sight, my breath might just vanish like a slow lightening strike, but the magic between this book’s jet covers, I know, would revive and save me. Blessed be the restorative power of words…

I am blogging tonight so I opened it and fluttered its pages to baptize myself in the awe of Corral’s poetry, and this is what snatched me to attention, butterfly soft, demanding I light on a stage of a page from which I could not look away.

“ALL THE TREES OF THE FIELD SHALL CLAP THEIR HANDS

Josefa Segovia was tried, convicted & hanged on July 5, 1851, in Downieville, California, for killing an Anglo miner, a man who the day before had assaulted her.”

I read the emotive poem. I gasped. I sighed. It was unnecessary to read further. Having been raped, twice, by Black men, I, instantaneously, knew Josefa Segovia, and although I knew not her choice, I closed the book to save it for another silent night or a sacred morning in which I could read more and witness all the pieces of myself settle comfortably on a sofa for the experience. The IV from this book to my soul already energizes me; somehow it knows I will seek it and it me in the ensuing days. And when we meet again, like Keith Sweat, I will make it last. Not wanting to gulp Corral’s electric imagery and colorful culture mentally, but to sip it sensually, holding each poem on my heart like a memory I must never forget.

EDUARDO C. CORRAL’s poems have appeared in New England Review, Ploughshares, and Poetry, as well as other journals and anthologies. He received a Discovery/The Nation award and was selected for residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He’s a recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award.

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